'Making the most of what you’ve got: Resources, values and inequalities in young people’s transitions to adulthood’

Thomson, Rachel; Henderson, Sheila and Holland, Janet (2003). 'Making the most of what you’ve got: Resources, values and inequalities in young people’s transitions to adulthood’. Educational Review, 55(1) pp. 33–46.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00131910303249

Abstract

Based on an analysis of longitudinal qualitative data from biographical interviews carried out over a three-year period with approximately 100 young people, and informed by relevant theoretical approaches to social capital, we examine the relationship between the resources that young people have available to them and their resourcefulness in drawing upon these to forge their futures. To analyse the relationship between individual resources and the wider social context we use three case studies of young women from the most socially deprived of five research sites, at the transition from compulsory schooling. We suggest that 'success' and its costs are mediated through forms of lived femininity that have currency within local economies of value. We consider how our insights might contribute to debates on social capital, and draw some tentative conclusions about wider policy discussions that are centred on uncritical understandings of 'success'.

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